Joseph Mersa Marley dead: Bob Marley’s grandson dies aged 31


Joseph Mersa Marley reportedly died in Florida on Tuesday (Picture: Jeff Moore/ZUMA Wire)

Bob Marley’s grandson, Joseph ‘Mersa’ Marley, has reportedly died at the age of 31.

Political figures in Jamaica paid tribute to the musician, whose father is Bob’s son Stephen Marley, after reports emerged claiming Joseph died in Florida on Tuesday morning.

South Florida radio station WZPP RADIO was among the first to report the news and claimed Joseph was found unresponsive in a vehicle. A rep for Joseph later confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.

However, a cause of death has not been confirmed.

Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honorable Olivia Grange, led tributes for Joseph and tweeted: ‘I am deeply saddened by the news that artiste Joseph Marley, son of Reggae star, Stephen Marley and grand son of Reggae super star, Bob Marley has died.

‘We were graced by Joseph,whose stage name was Jo Mersa, performing at our Jamaica 60 Launch in Miramar, Florida, USA in May.

‘I extend my deepest condolences to Stephen, Jo’s mom, Kerry, the Marleys and other family members. My heartfelt sympathies to Joseph’s friends and associates and to the Reggae music fraternity and fans everywhere.’

She added: ‘His untimely passing at the young age of 31y.o. is a huge loss to the music as we look to the next generation. May he find Eternal Peace as we mourn his loss during this season of goodwill when we celebrate with family and friends our love for each other.’

Jamaica’s leader of the opposition, Mark J Golding, also said: ‘I’ve just learned of the tragic loss of Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley. A talented young reggae artiste, son of Stephen Marley & grandson of Bob Marley at only 31 yrs old. The loss of a child is a devastating blow no parent should face, my condolences to Stephen & the entire family.’

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 13: Reggae artist, Jo Mersa Marley performs during The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour at Festival Pier at Penn's Landing on July 13, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

Joseph was a musician in his own right and released his debut EP in 2014 (Picture: Getty Images)
Joseph’s father Stephen Marley is son of late reggae legend Bob Marley (Picture: WireImage)
One Love hitmaker Bob Marley died in 1981 aged 36 following a battle with cancer (Picture: Getty Images)

Tidal, the streaming service part-owned by Jay Z, also tweeted: ‘Forever in our hearts. RIP Jo Mersa Marley.’

Hailing from music royalty as part of the Marley family, Joseph was also a musician in his own right having released his debut EP, Comfortable, in 2014. Boasting six songs, the record featured guest appearances from reggae musicians Wayne Marshall and Jemere Morgan.

His second album, Eternal, was released in 2021 and featured the likes of Busy Signal and Melii.

As well as collaborating with his father Stephen, Joseph appeared on the Grammy-winning album Strictly Roots by Morgan Heritage.

The singer was raised in Jamaica, where he attended Saints Peter and Paul
Preparatory School, before moving to Florida where he was a student at
Palmetto High School.

He studied studio engineering while at Miami Dade College.

Joseph’s grandfather, reggae legend Bob, died in 1981 at the age of 36 following a battle with cancer.

Bob is one of the most celebrated musical figures and is best known for songs such as No Woman No Cry, One Love, Jamming and Could You Be Loved.

Joseph is survived by a wife and daughter.

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Joseph’s reps for comment.

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